Human Rights, Limited Government, And Capitalism.
The Cato Journal 2008, Wntr, 28, 1
The Cato Journal
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By and large, there are two distinct intellectual traditions in social theorizing. One is normative. It addresses how people should live or how the social order should be arranged. Much of the human fights discourse belongs to this tradition. The other tradition attempts to analyze the world as it is. Within this second tradition theories are evaluated according to criteria such as falsifiability, compatibility with known facts, explanatory power, or predictive value. If one is interested in feasibility, and if one links fights with corresponding obligations, then the separation between these intellectual traditions is regrettable. Then it makes little sense to generate long lists of human rights without knowing whether or not they ever can be implemented. In this article, I argue that a short list of merely "negative" or protective human rights, which can be implemented, is preferable to a long list of "negative" and "positive" or entitlement fights, because the fulfillment of the latter requires an infringement of the former. Indeed, only a narrow focus on negative rights is compatible with a free economy, which alone provides the means to fund the material well-being of the masses the objective of positive fights. Funding entitlements, however, undermines the viability of a free economy and thus appears self-destructive.
- Category: Politics & Current Events
- Published: Jan 01, 2008
- Publisher: Cato Institute
- Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
- Print Length: 26 Pages
- Language: English